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Looking at getting first commuter bike.

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Looking at getting first commuter bike.

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Old 01-29-19, 08:00 AM
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Salt_lad
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Looking at getting first commuter bike.

Hi guys!

I'm looking at getting my first commuter flatbar hybrid bike as I live in a somewhat semi rural area and some roads are gravel but most are tarmac so I didn't want to get a roadbike or a mountain bike, I live in Australia and have a budget of about $450, this will be my first non K-Mart bike so I don't want to spend a whole heap of money on a bike. The bikes I have in mind are a STUDDS 100FD hybrid commuter, Reid city bike 2 or a Reid urban 0X any help on what one or other bike I should purchase would be appreciated.

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Old 01-29-19, 08:38 AM
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ppl usually compare quality of components. I don't know enough to help with that. something else to compare might be if a bike comes equipped with fenders & rack due to expense & labor installing them. how long is your ride? have you been bike commuting on what you have now? you guys have K-marts over there?
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Old 01-29-19, 08:52 AM
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Greetings from California, welcome to Bike Forums!

The bikes you listed look like pretty standard entry level models, should be ok. I'd get the one with the 8 speed rear (not because of the number but because 8 speeds have a better axle and freewheel design called a freehub). Others will tell you to pick one without a front suspension unless you feel you really need it because they are heavy, but I think they are ok for a dirt road. At this price they don't have shock absorbers, only springs, so they only really come into action on a big hit like a pothole, or goofing around with jumps and wheelies.

How long is your ride and how is the weather?
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Old 01-29-19, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Greetings from California, welcome to Bike Forums!

The bikes you listed look like pretty standard entry level models, should be ok. I'd get the one with the 8 speed rear (not because of the number but because 8 speeds have a better axle and freewheel design called a freehub). Others will tell you to pick one without a front suspension unless you feel you really need it because they are heavy, but I think they are ok for a dirt road. At this price they don't have shock absorbers, only springs, so they only really come into action on a big hit like a pothole, or goofing around with jumps and wheelies.

How long is your ride and how is the weather?
Most of the time I'll be on my bike for 30 mins to about 1 1/2 hours more of just getting around town however the bike I have ATM is quite heavy as it's an all steel Frame.
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Old 01-29-19, 09:28 AM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
ppl usually compare quality of components. I don't know enough to help with that. something else to compare might be if a bike comes equipped with fenders & rack due to expense & labor installing them. how long is your ride? have you been bike commuting on what you have now? you guys have K-marts over there?
Yeah we do have k-marts! I have been using a crappy southern star bike which is pretty much the K-Mart standard all steel frsne crappy scrapping the barrel Shimaro gears my rides are about 30mins to 1 1/2 hours currently but they do ware me out as my current bike is a large all steel frame with only sole of the gears working
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Old 01-29-19, 09:59 AM
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I'm assuming $450 buys in Australia what it buys in the USA. That is a HUGE assumption. So this advice may be WAY off.

Buy a name brand hybrid like a Specialized or Trek.

The frame will be fine. It will be a good frame that will last you a long time. You will have something you can build on and improve over time with a decent frame. But you can get into the bike cheap and slowly make it into something better with a little money here and there over time.

The drive train will kind of suck. It will be bottom of the barrel low quality parts. The gears will be stamped steel. They will work. But they will wear out quickly. In a year or two (or maybe faster depending on how much you ride) you will need to replace things like the front chain rings and rear cassette. That is an opportunity for an upgrade to parts that will last much longer. Even a little money will buy much better parts than the generic stuff that comes on a $450 bike.

I just did this. My stock drive train wore out. I replaced with with Shimano parts. The replacements are still low end for Shimano but that's noticeable better than the bargain basement Sunrace parts I took off. It's like a new bike.

The derailleurs and shifters and brakes will probably all be okay at $450. They won't be phenomenal. They won't suck either.

If you want something that is going to be great from the start and last forever without having to improve components over time...you're doing to spend $1,000 up front.
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Old 01-29-19, 10:04 AM
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Thanks mate, have you got any specific models for around that $450 - $500 price range??
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Old 01-29-19, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
I'm assuming $450 buys in Australia what it buys in the USA. That is a HUGE assumption. So this advice may be WAY off.

Buy a name brand hybrid like a Specialized or Trek.

The frame will be fine. It will be a good frame that will last you a long time. You will have something you can build on and improve over time with a decent frame. But you can get into the bike cheap and slowly make it into something better with a little money here and there over time.

The drive train will kind of suck. It will be bottom of the barrel low quality parts. The gears will be stamped steel. They will work. But they will wear out quickly. In a year or two (or maybe faster depending on how much you ride) you will need to replace things like the front chain rings and rear cassette. That is an opportunity for an upgrade to parts that will last much longer. Even a little money will buy much better parts than the generic stuff that comes on a $450 bike.

I just did this. My stock drive train wore out. I replaced with with Shimano parts. The replacements are still low end for Shimano but that's noticeable better than the bargain basement Sunrace parts I took off. It's like a new bike.

The derailleurs and shifters and brakes will probably all be okay at $450. They won't be phenomenal. They won't suck either.

If you want something that is going to be great from the start and last forever without having to improve components over time...you're doing to spend $1,000 up front.
Thanks mate, have you got any specific models for around that $450 - $500 price range??
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Old 01-29-19, 10:49 AM
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Hi Mate!

London area here.

In OZ, one pays 2:1 compared to US prices for the same "dollar". Most people posting are from America and have no idea of how little a Oz dollar buys.

Best bang for the buck is a Decathlon bicycle ... same in Europe actually.

The DECATHLON TRIBAN 100 comes with either flats or drops and everything else is almost the same (try them both).

Flat: https://www.decathlon.com.au/p/85204...html#/15-200-m

Drops: https://www.decathlon.com.au/p/83791...html#/12-200-s
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Old 01-29-19, 10:51 AM
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I will say that the STUDDS is very well equipped at that price point.
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Old 01-29-19, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
interesting shifter for a drop bar bike!
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Old 01-29-19, 01:03 PM
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I found it here. It looks like it will probably be durable and reliable. It is still low end, but that's your budget, and the value looks good.

You may not be able to buy a Trek or Specialized or Giant in your budget. If you are, at least consider them.

Another possibility is to buy a used bike. You have to be resourceful about finding one and then evaluating and either having repairs done, or better, doing the repairs yourself. But you can save money and get something nicer than when you buy new. Still, the Studds is not a bad choice.
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Old 01-29-19, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
In OZ, one pays 2:1 compared to US prices for the same "dollar". Most people posting are from America and have no idea of how little a Oz dollar buys.
Ah yes, o'wise one. Those of us posting from America are simply a collection of Homer Simpsons that barely managed to turn our computers on this morning...

Back on topic, as NoGlider suggested, also consider getting something used. Depending on where you are exactly (I mean, I'm just a dumb American, so the concept of a different content is just too much for me to comprehend), you might find that a lot of good used bikes have barely ever been ridden. In fact, sometimes those are the bikes you get the best deals on, because the owners aren't really "bike people," so they don't know the real value of that thing that was taking up space in their garage/apartment.
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Old 01-29-19, 01:37 PM
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I'd go the used route. For a commuter you don't need brand new with no scratches but you would prefer better components. Used can get you better components at a similar price. And any extra savings can go to fenders and rack, which you will be glad you have once you need them.

Shimano or Sram components, the highest level your budget can get, and your budget will get higher levels if you go back a few model years.

Add to your search list the Cannondale Quick. It makes a good commuter, which is how I have mine configured.

But really any name brand frame with the best components you can find on the used market within your budget will be a decent solution.
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Old 01-29-19, 02:14 PM
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Jamis also makes some solid bikes including hybrids. They are a US based company that imports most of their bikes so I don't know if they are selling in Australia.

I second the idea of going used, assuming that you can do your own maintenance and a tune-up on the bikes.

Commuting will depreciate bikes quickly, and fancy bikes can be targets.

Make sure you add a good lock to your budget. Helmet?

Each commute is different. 20+ miles (32+ km) Round trip, and a good road/cyclocross bike will do you well.

1 to 5 miles (2 to 8 km) each way, and you might choose a heavier bomb-proof rigid mountain bike.
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Old 01-29-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Salt_lad View Post
Thanks mate, have you got any specific models for around that $450 - $500 price range??
If you can get a Fuji brand, look at those. They are decent bikes and tend to be a little cheaper.

Someone else mentioned a used bike. If Craigslist or something like it is viable in Australia, that's wroth looking into. You can get a lot more bike for a lot less money if you are patient.

Here in the US, you can often get a nearly new bike for used prices from people who bought a bike determined to ride it then never do...and decide to sell it 2 years later. Or you can get higher end well used but well maintained bikes from someone who just outgrew that level and is trading up.

But...you have to find your size in a bike you like. So you may have to wait a month or two for the right bike to come along.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by robertorolfo View Post
Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
In OZ, one pays 2:1 compared to US prices for the same "dollar". Most people posting are from America and have no idea of how little a Oz dollar buys.
Ah yes, o'wise one. Those of us posting from America are simply a collection of Homer Simpsons that barely managed to turn our computers on this morning...
Yeah, we're such knuckle-draggers that we're willing to believe that 1.39 magically equals 2:

(Something to do with time zones, maybe? "Bloody Central Services; they've gone back to metric without telling us....")

Back on topic, as NoGlider suggested, also consider getting something used. Depending on where you are exactly (I mean, I'm just a dumb American, so the concept of a different content is just too much for me to comprehend), you might find that a lot of good used bikes have barely ever been ridden. In fact, sometimes those are the bikes you get the best deals on, because the owners aren't really "bike people," so they don't know the real value of that thing that was taking up space in their garage/apartment.
Back on topic again, +1 used; look for a late '90s or early century hybrid. With AUD$450, you'll have plenty left over for the rest of your commuting kit - lights, GOOD lock, rack/panniers, etc., along with a complete tune-up / refurb.
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Old 01-29-19, 07:20 PM
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It’s true, $450 USD in the USA would buy a nicer bike. Either a name brand bike store bike, or a nicer (27 speed, disk brake, maybe carbon fork) mail order bike.

But $100 would buy that bike on Craigslist.

We’re probably not going to have Sears and K-Mart here for much longer. They got a last-minute save a few weeks ago.

Then again, JC Penny is still shambling along.
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Old 01-30-19, 01:56 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
Yeah, we're such knuckle-draggers that we're willing to believe that 1.39 magically equals 2:

.
You guys get offended way too easily.

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Old 01-30-19, 07:43 AM
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Um, it was a joke...
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Old 01-30-19, 08:33 AM
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So I'm still deciding whether if I should get the STUDDS or the Reid urban 0x
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Old 01-30-19, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Salt_lad View Post
So I'm still deciding whether if I should get the STUDDS or the Reid urban 0x
Both have OK framesets, OK drivetrains and ****ty brakes/shifters. This is the 2:1 difference USD:AUS I originally referred to as those 500 AUD bikes are equipped like a 250 USD bike.

The Reid looks nicer.
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Old 01-30-19, 10:31 AM
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^^^^^ Might be another reason to consider used, if the "bang for your buck" for a new bike is that much lower there.

Ironic that, even accounting for the exchange rate, an equivalent amount of money doesn't buy as much bike there as it does in the US. After all, the vast majority are built in either Taiwan or China, and the shipping distance is a lot less. Economics of scale, evidently.
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Old 01-30-19, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
^^^^^ Might be another reason to consider used, if the "bang for your buck" for a new bike is that much lower there.

Ironic that, even accounting for the exchange rate, an equivalent amount of money doesn't buy as much bike there as it does in the US. After all, the vast majority are built in either Taiwan or China, and the shipping distance is a lot less. Economics of scale, evidently.
This is not uncommon around the planet.

The United States is dirt cheap for goods (Levi's are a fraction of the cost as an example) but NOT services ... also the tipping culture is a pain in the ass, as is not adding the tax directly to the cost. In Europe, I pay £19.99 or €19.99 all in. In the US, I pay $19.99, which works out to $20.47 and I get a bunch of worthless coins. Also, learn to employ the contactless Visa debit everywhere!

Australian-specific info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australia_Tax

UK-specific info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rip-off_Britain
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Old 01-30-19, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
Someone else mentioned a used bike. If Craigslist or something like it is viable in Australia, that's wroth looking into. You can get a lot more bike for a lot less money if you are patient.
I was actually going to suggest Craigslist, but then I took a look at CL Sydney and they literally have 3 bikes for sale! Prices seem low, though, and one of them isn't bad though, if you are tall...

Adelaide has zero bikes for sale, and Melbourne has two, one of which is the REID brand the OP is talking about, practically new, for $270 (which, according to our resident genius Acidphast, is like the equivalent of a spoonful of dirt and a half-opened packet of McDonalds ketchup here in America).

https://melbourne.craigslist.org/bik...756618597.html
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